Category: Treatment - CBT

PS4- #A13 - Increasing College Adjustment in At-Risk Freshmen: A Brief Cognitive-Behavioral Intervention

Friday, Nov 17
12:15 PM – 1:15 PM
Location: Indigo Ballroom CDGH, Level 2, Indigo Level

Keywords: College Students | Treatment-CBT | ADHD - Adult

Introduction:College freshmen who are at greater risk to fail or drop out before attaining a Bachelor’s degree are at a distinct disadvantage occupationally, economically, and socially (Johnson, 2012). “At-risk” students (those who are academically underprepared) are six times more likely to drop out during the first year of college (Ishitani & DesJardins, 2002). Postsecondary institutions have implemented interventions aimed at teaching at-risk students skills to increase success in the first year of college. These interventions (e.g., learning communities, additional advising, study skills curriculum, time management skills), many based on Tinto’s (1993) theory of retention, have yielded mixed support (Valentine et al., 2011). Additionally, the active ingredients in comprehensive programs aimed to improve at-risk college performance have not been identified. This study sought to examine the effects of an organization, time management, and planning (OTMP) skills intervention with at-risk freshmen.



Method:
Freshmen (Intervention n = 31, Control n = 35; M age = 18.43, 61% female, 78% European American) conditionally accepted at a public 4-year university and enrolled in a first-year seminar intended to enhance academic success and retention participated in the study. Students completed online surveys regarding impairment (Weiss Functional Impairment Rating Scale; Weiss, 2000), ADHD symptoms (Barkley Current Symptom Scale; Barkley 2011a), OTMP skill use (12-item measure on frequency of OTMP strategy use), and executive functioning (Barkley Deficits in Executive Functioning; Barkley, 2011b) at the beginning and end of their first semester in college. Intervention students received three lectures (with take-home exercises) designed to improve OTMP skills (intervention adapted from CBT for adults with ADHD treatment manual; Solanto, 2011).



Results:
A series of Group x Time ANOVAs yielded significant interactions for several pre- to post-intervention outcomes. Students in the Intervention group reported significant improvements compared to the Control group in the following areas of impairment: Family (pre-M = 0.31, post-M = 0.23), Life Skills (pre-M = 0.51, post-M = 0.39), Self-Concept (pre-M = 0.97, post-M = 0.65), Social (pre-M = 0.41, post-M = 0.24), and Total (pre-M = 0.43, post-M = 0.33) impairment, as well as for inattention (pre-M = 15.29, post-M = 14.68), with medium to large effects across these significant findings.



Discussion:
Students in the first year seminar sections that included three lectures on OTMP skills reported less impairment and inattention compared to students who did not hear the lectures from the beginning to the end of the semester. These results indicate that teaching these college readiness skills may improve at-risk students’ adjustment to college. Further details of analyses and future directions will be provided on the final poster.

Anne E. Stevens

Graduate Student
University of Wyoming
Laramie, Wyoming

Christopher R. Shelton

Graduate Student
University of Wyoming
Laramie, Wyoming

Judah W. Serrano

Graduate Student
University of Wyoming

Madeline G. Peters

Undergraduate Student
University of Wyoming

Anna M. Garner

Undergraduate Student
University of Wyoming
Laramie, Wyoming

Fayth C. Walbridge

Undergraduate Student
University of Wyoming

Patrick A. LaCount

Graduate Student
University of Wyoming

Cynthia M. Hartung

Associate Professor
University of Wyoming
Laramie, Wyoming